Tony and Grammy Award-winner Billy Porter continues Philadelphia Theatre Company’s new Theatre Masters Series on March 23 at 7:00 PM at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre (Broad and Lombard Streets). Porter will be joined in conversation by theatre historian and author John Kenrick. Launched as part of PTC’s celebration of its 40th Anniversary season, Theatre Masters offers an array of Monday night on-stage interviews with major theatre artists with whom PTC has worked, each sharing personal journeys of transformation and creative growth over time and how it has impacted both art and life. The series, which launched February 16 with a sold out house for Bill Irwin, concludes with Anna Deavere Smith on May 11.
Tickets are available at philatheatreco.org or by phone at 215.985.0420 and range from $5 for enrolled college students to $25 for the general public.
A composer, actor, playwright, and director, Billy Porter is a master of stage, television, and film. As a director, he comes to PTC having just directed The Colored Museum at Huntington Theatre. He conceived and directed Being Alive based on the music of Stephen Sondheim which PTC produced to inaugurate the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. His other directing credits include Once on this Island at Reprise Theatre Company, for which he won a NAACP Theatre Award for Best Direction of a Musical, as well as a critically acclaimed production of The Wiz. He recently won the 2013 Drama Desk and Tony Awards for his role as Lola in Kinky Boots. Other Broadway acting credits include Miss Saigon, Five Guys Named Moe, Grease, Smokey Joe’s Café, and the 20th Anniversary Broadway concert of Dreamgirls. His one-man show, Ghetto Superstar: The Man That I Am, was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award, and he won critical acclaim as Belize in the 20th Anniversary revival of Angels in America at New York City’s Signature Theatre. As a playwright, his play While I Yet Live recently received its world premiere at Primary Stages with a cast including S. Epatha Merkerson and Lillias White.
Author, teacher, and theatre historian John Kenrick has been featured on A&E's Biography, BBC TV and Radio, The Discovery Travel Channel, and National Public Radio as an expert on Theatre. Kenrick has made a career of illuminating the art of performance to audiences with his series "Musical Conversations" at Manhattan's York Theatre, and "Theater Chats" at The Sutton Place Synagogue. He is also the creator of Musicals101.com, an educational resource celebrating the history of stage and screen musicals.
Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Theatre Company